8 Cover Songs Made Famous by Jason Aldean

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Publicity Photo
Jason Aldean is scheduled to perform on Sunday, April 13, at Country Thunder 2014 in Florence.
Country megastar Jason Aldean doesn't front a tribute band insofar as we can tell. An argument could be made otherwise, considering the number of cover songs the crooner has performed and recorded during his storied career.

Whether or not fans are aware of it, some of Aldean's biggest hits were originally sung by someone else, which is a testament to the sheer pull and power that the back-to-back ACM Male Vocalist of the Year-winner has as a recording artist.

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Record Store Geek: 16 Sweet Slices of Soul

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Motown Records
R&B/soul icon Stevie Wonder
Chances are, if you met me -- I'm a tall, goofy-looking, middle-aged white guy with a Canadian accent (it's actually North Dakotan) -- you wouldn't think, "Hey, I should get some recommendations on fantastic soul albums from this cat."

Of course, I'm stereotyping myself, and you would be, too. I understand that we all make assumptions, usually based on some level of previous experience, and that's a fairly good guess.

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Top 12 March Metal Shows in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Lists, Metal!

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Courtesy Photo
Carcass is scheduled to perform on Monday, March 24, at The Pressroom.
It can be easy to miss unless you're looking for it, but there are a lot of metal (heavy or otherwise) getting slung in and around Metro Phoenix, thanks to concerts and gigs by locals and touring acts alike. As such, Up on the Sun's resident metal scribe, Lauren Wise, is on the lookout for the best upcoming shows.

That's why we had her compile a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts that will be staged at venues around the Valley during the month of March. Each is worth checking out, especially if you're into local metal.

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The 5 Most Underappreciated Wes Anderson Soundtrack Choices

Categories: Lists, Movies

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Touchstone Pictures
This scene wouldn't be this scene without Sigur Rós.

Fans looking to update their playlists with a new set of jangly British Invasion ditties brought (back) to light by filmmaker/auteur Wes Anderson will likely be disappointed with the soundtrack for his newest effort, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is streamable online as of today and is largely instrumental and sans pop-rock gems.

While that's going to delight some (musician Will Oldham once memorably referred to Anderson as "the cancer that is that Darjeeling guy" who approaches soundtracks as: "Here's my iPod on shuffle, and here's my movie"), many music fans will likely feel slighted. With that in mind, it's worth revisiting Anderson's previous efforts to pull up some soundtrack choices you might've missed the first time around; Nico and the Kinks and the Rolling Stones need not apply.

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The Art of the Earache: Five Bands From Phoenix's Noise Underground

Categories: Lists

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Courtesy Photo
Matt Loberg of Genital Stigmata/Geiger Retort.

To those not plugged into the deeper chasms of the musical underground, the idea of a noise musician most likely seems oxymoronic and bizarre. An easily understandable stance, given that noise is largely considered to be an undesirable sonic experience.

However, over the course of decades, a sizable subsection of the extreme music underground has developed and refined an art form to the many shades of noise. A platform of subversion and subtlety that is capable of transmitting a range of emotion and aesthetic.

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Punk Legends The Urinals: A Long Way from UCLA, But a Long Way From Over

Categories: Lists

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Happy Squid Records
The Urinals back in 1979 on the cover of the Another EP.

By Mark Deming

When one thinks of legendary punk rock venues where great bands got their start, folks usually think of CBGB in New York, or the Masque in Hollywood, or the 100 Club in London. Dykstra Hall, a dormitory on the UCLA campus? Not so much.

But Dykstra Hall does have one claim to fame -- it was the place where one of Southern California's most original and enduring punk rock bands got its start. The Urinals were three Dykstra residents who made their debut at a dorm talent show in 1978 and went on to release a handful of singles that opened ears around the world with their harsh, minimal attack, surreal lyrics, and performances that made a virtue of the group's lack of experience.

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9 Best Stores in Metro Phoenix for Music Gear

Categories: Lists

Benjamin Leatherman
Choosing a music store is, for many people, akin to choosing a proctologist. You may really need what it has to offer, but you also know it is almost always going to be painful. Whether you are an aspiring newbie or a seasoned musician, the experience of visiting the retailers who have what you need to get your groove on can be scary, intimidating, and sometimes offensive to your sensibility of right and wrong.

The Valley has a few stores that stand out. Sure, sometimes even their folks can be surly or disinterested in hearing about your latest power ballad, but there are places where you can go and be treated fairly well by the staff. Here are the top eight choices, chosen through a combination of our own experience and conversations with a cross-section of local musicians.

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The Four Most Realistic Songs About Adulthood

Categories: Lists

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YouTube
Well, I guess this is growing up.
On any given day I will tell you that being an adult is either the greatest thing ever or the absolute worst. Much like the moral of a South Park episode, however, the truth is somewhere in the middle. As many of you have no doubt discovered, being an adult is pretty boring. You wake up, go to work, browse Facebook, pay your e-bills, pretend to work, and go home. After that you fall asleep on the couch while watching Castle on TNT because you thought they still aired Law and Order at that hour and you're too tired to find something else.

Not exactly the stuff that songs are written about.

Occasionally, though, a brilliant artist will come along and attempt to encapsulate what it means to be an adult through the art of song. Few have done it successfully -- only four have done it perfectly.

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9 Phoenix Frontmen and Frontwomen Who Will Make You Love Them

Categories: Lists

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Melissa Fossum
Pop music has a proud tradition of socially awkward lead singers -- the Brian Wilsons, the shoegazers, the Rivers Cuomos. They are not what this list is about.

This is about the other kind of frontman and frontwoman -- the one who gets inside your head or maybe right up in your face.

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6 Things You Learn From Being Addicted to Metal

Categories: Lists, Metal!

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Robert Bejil, Flickr
Most people regard metal music as an anti-intellectual, chest-beating, noisy fit for cavemen. Despite this being 100 percent true, there are a few positive things that result from having an intense dedication toward one of the most juvenile forms of music out there.

While listening to metal may still sentence you to a life in your parents' basement, at least you'll have learned a few things on the way to sleeping on a pile of empty potato chip bags. Here are six things you learn from being addicted to metal.

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